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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/442

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Method.—Have ready 1 pint of picked shrimps, put them, with the other ingredients, into a stewpan, let them heat gradually in the butter, but do not let it boil. Pour into small pots, and, when cold, cover with melted butter, and carefully exclude the air.

Time.—¼ of an hour, to soak in the butter. Average Cost, 1s. 6d.

The Shrimp (Fr. crevette).—This familiar crustacean, belonging to the order Decapoda'', or ten-footed crustacea, is allied to the lobsters and crawfishes. It inhabits the sandy shores of the coasts of Britain and Ireland, and is captured in nets, which are pushed before the shrimpers through the sand. In colour it resembles the sand in which it lives, and is semi-transparent, but after being boiled it becomes opaque, and changes to the well-known brown hue. The red variety lives in deeper water, and is caught chiefly on the east and south coasts of England. Its colour before boiling is reddish-grey. The bulk of the London supply of shrimps comes from Holland from January to the end of June; but the Dutch are inferior in quality to the English shrimps, which are abundant from July to the end of the year.


There is a slight difference in the shape of shrimps and prawns, the tail of the former being rounded at the bend, like that of a lobster, but the tail of the prawn presents a sort of knee or angle. To shell a shrimp, take the head between the right thumb and forefinger, and with the left forefinger and thumb-nail raise on each side the shell of the tail, pinch the tail, and the shell will at once separate. To shell prawns, take the head between the right hand thumb and second finger, take the tip of the tail between the left thumb and forefinger; with the nail of the right forefinger raise the shell at the knee or angle, pinch the tail, and the shell will come apart, leaving the prawn attached to the head.

630.—SKATE, BOILED. (Fr.Raie au Naturel.)

Ingredients.—1 skate, salt.

Method.—Clean and skin the skate, put it into a fish-kettle containing sufficient salted warm water to just cover it, and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, or until the fish separates readily from the bone. Drain well, dish on a folded napkin, and serve with shrimp, lobster or caper sauce.

Time.—From 30 to 50 minutes, according to size. Average Cost, from 4d. to 6d. per lb. Seasonable from August to April.

To Choose Skate.—This fish should be chosen for its firmness, breadth and thickness, and should have a creamy appearance. It should not be kept longer than a day or two.

The Skate (Fr. raie), a member of the Ray family, is rhomboidal in shape, and has a cartilaginous skeleton. The body is much depressed; the teeth are flat, and form a mosaic-like pattern in the mouth; the tail is long and slender and heterocercal, having the upper lobe longer than the lower; the mouth is pointed with a prominent ridge. The Thornback differs from the common skate by having spines on the upper surface of the tail. It is inferior in quality to the true skate, The flesh of the skate is white, palatable, and easily digested. It is improved by crimping, and is usually sold in that form.

631.—SKATE WITH BROWN BUTTER. (Fr.Raie au beurre-noir.)

Proceed as directed in the foregoing recipe, and serve on a hot dish